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Hull Reconditioning for 11 Year Old Boat  Bottom

  • I just bought a 2001 Taipan. It's in great shape, but the bottom of the hulls have wear marks, presumably from sand abrasion over the years due to beaching. It looks as though the gelcoat has been "sanded off" in places. I'm wondering what I should do about this (if anything.)

    At first I was thinking I should re-gelcoat the hulls, but after some research maybe painting the hulls would be better, or maybe I should just wax and not worry about it?

    Daniel T.
    Taipan F16 - USA 213
    Clearwater, FL
  • you can touch up the raw spots with gelcoat this season...it will give you a chance to get familiar with the process and to get good at matching colors. no one hardly sees the keels at all so it's a good place to practice. then you can fix any of the other dings in the hulls and build up thickness on the keels. re-gelcoating the entire boat is a big job, and not really necessary. painting the hulls is a last resort thing because once you paint them, your in the painting business...we have a tried and tested strategy for used boats..."pud" them up and sail the crap out of them the first season to flush out any real problems then next year "pretty" up the boat, you might have some big ticket needs this year you haven't foreseen(sails, tramp, structural issues, etc.). i know it's hard to resist shining up that new baby but take her for serious sea trials first to see what's up, you hate to get it perfect then have to do a major hull repair!

    Check out "Prindle Sailors" on Facebook!
    bill harris
    hattiesburg, mississippi
    prindle 16- "BLUE RIBBON"
  • Your boat is damn near new, I'd say

    Nacra 6.0 NA
    Ogden Dunes, IN
  • I have a 1998 Nacra I-18 that needed some love. I had excellent luck with VC Performance Epoxy/Paint (2 part). You use the paint/tip method and with some patience it comes out pretty smooth. You can sand with 500 and then 1500 wet/dry, then buff with power buffer and rubbing compound.


    I ended up painting about 4 coats on the bottom taped off (about 6-8 inches wide) then painted 2 coats to the mid line of the hulls (again using painters tape). This did leave a "ridge" and the paint is way whiter than 10 y/o hulls so I added a vinyl stripe (inspired by blue painters tape). I may coat the whole boat with another coat or 2 to make the boat effectively new this spring.

    The original sacrificial layer is holding up nicely after 3 seasons. We beach our boats on every launch/recovery as we have nice sand and my boat sails ... well.. a lot.

    ready to launch

    nacra inter-18
  • An alternate/shortcut method as coastrat suggest...

    Clean hulls with acetone.

    tape the keels about 2 inches wide with painters tape. Mix up some West System epoxy (is pretty thin w/o additives). Add West System pigment to match. Paint it on with a foam roller (the little blue ones, the epoxy wont eat them as fast).

    This isnt as pretty, but is 100% effective as a sacrificial layer.

    let this cure, sand with some wet/dry to pretty up, wax/buf/launch.

    If you can see glass on the keels, do something. We had a H-16 almost sink (like sink sink) when the keel opened up this summer. At that point is a more major repair.

    Edited by nhanson on Jan 25, 2012 - 02:08 PM.

    nacra inter-18

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